Healthcare Marketing is Everywhere, Socially Speakingquick scroll through your Facebook newsfeed on any given day probably turns up several compelling articles about wellness and medical research. It’s become the norm to see cutting-edge health news scattered throughout our social media channels with links to new studies being shared on timelines, retweeted on Twitter, even posted on LinkedIn and Instagram. Sometimes simple wellness tips about mindfulness or exercise can take on a life of their own across the several channels, going viral and then becoming water cooler talk or the latest “have you heard about?” fodder.
Alternatives are Welcome in the Social Sphere
As a marketing channel social media clearly has an edge, but is it a good match for the growing field of integrative medicine? The answer is absolutely 100% yes.
By definition, the practitioners of integrative medicine are open to thinking outside the box, using inclusive, holistic approaches that put the patient at the center of their own care. And the personal connection from practitioner to patient on social media is instant! Posts are presented right alongside user-generated content, taking up just as much weight and visual space as posts from friends and family. In addition, integrative medicine practitioners actively listen and rarely use a one-size-fits-all approach like mainstream medicine often does, and on social media that personal touch fits right in. More than ever it’s possible to build up one-on-one trust with a patient if they see reliable, helpful information coming from your page directly to their newsfeed on a regular basis.
Positioning your practice as an authority and a resource on social media goes a long way toward building confidence in your specific brand of medicine and promotes the positive influence of integrative medicine in general. Sharing helpful posts from fellow integrative pioneers spreads the message even farther and positions you as a thought-leader in the larger conversation, so don’t be shy about the share button.
The Newsfeed: Where Patients Meet Practitioners
By inviting the patient to take charge of their own health (and at the same time empowering them with information to do so) healthcare social media is at the forefront of progressive medicine. Social media also has the benefit of directly connecting patients with specific practitioners that have the unique skill sets to promote their wellbeing. When a client reacts to your post or shares your links, your visibility goes up exponentially, opening the door to new patients who may be looking for the specialized care that can only be found in your niche.
The Great Conversation
Social media marketing is also unique in how it brings patients and clients back into the conversation. Traditional marketing and media such as print or commercials are a one-way messaging system (pretty useless for finding out what customers are really thinking) but social media is interactive by design. And since integrative medicine practitioners prefer to encourage patients to participate in their own care, social media marketing and integrative health are perfect partners. By including the interactive streams of Facebook, Twitter, and other popular outlets in our marketing strategies, we can help keep our patients in the driver’s seat of their well being.
Making the Most of New Tools
When we consider the growing popularity of wellness alternatives such as yoga, herbal remedies, or specialized nutrition, the future looks very bright for integrative medicine in the social sphere. There are lots of ways to bring your expertise to the folks who are hungry for your knowledge using social media, beyond simple informational posts. You can support social medicine campaigns with helpful PSAs, launch interactive interventions with quizzes, campaign for more newsletter and email sign-ups, extend event invitations for health fairs or talks, gather info with informal surveys, and even take a closer look at exactly who is following you to get insight into your patients’ needs. The possibilities are endless.